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Beijing Sends its Spies as Media Reporters

A former CCP media official revealed that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) sends its intelligence officers as media reporters to spy on the host countries.

During a recent interview, Cheng Kai, former chief correspondent at People’s Daily in Shenzhen and editor-in-chief of Hainan Daily, stated that, based on his experience during the 1980s, over half of the reporters that the CCP media send overseas are intelligence officers.

Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily are minister-level organizations. Other national newspapers such as Guangming Daily, Economic Daily, Farmers’ Daily (Nongmin Ribao), and Workers’ Daily (Gongren Ribao) are deputy ministerial-level organizations. These media are authorized to send reporters overseas. When in the host country, they have considerable responsibilities to collect intelligence for the CCP.

Cheng recounted a memorial service for a former colleague, a People’s Daily reporter stationed in Algeria who died in a car accident. In addition to the president and editor-in-chief of People’s Daily, CCP leaders in charge of intelligence also attended the memorial service. It turned out that the former colleague was a spy and a People’s Daily reporter.

In the 1980s, People’s Daily had over 40 branches overseas. About half of its overseas reporters were officials from the CCP intelligence organization. With a reporter’s pass, it was convenient to interview people in the host countries. These so-called reporters spent most of their time collecting intelligence. One would not see them publish any news reports for as long as a year.

According to Cheng, if a reporter from People’s Daily or Xinhua contacts someone for an interview, the person should first ask himself whether the reporter is a Chinese intelligence officer.

Even reporters from Chinese regional newspapers may be state agents. For example, during his tenure as editor-in-chief of Hainan Daily, the Hainan Provincial CCP Committee directed Cheng to issue 20 Hainan Daily reporter identification cards, 10 to the Hainan Provincial Public Security Department, and 10 to its State Security Department. Cheng did not know who would hold these reporter ID cards. He was assured that he would not be held responsible for the actions of these 20 “reporters.” The CCP would make sure he would not be aware of any activities of these “reporters.’ He believed that these individuals were state agents who were spying on political dissidents.

Source: Epoch Times, June 25, 2021.